To say that dressing up toddlers at a time when they are growing up almost too fast is an understatement. This actress-host Iya Villania—the proud mother of cute and adorable baby Primo, who has his own social media following what with almost 80,000 followers on his Instagram account @antonio-primoarellano—said she can definitely agree with.
“Primo is at the age where he just wants to move, you know, a time when babies are trying to learn how to use their legs, and still finding proper coordination. What we don’t realize is that us parents can actually restrict them if we don’t put them in appropriate clothing,” Villania told The Manila Times during her and Primo’s launch as the new ambassadors of Uniqlo’s Maternity and Kids and Baby collections.
That is not to say, however, that Villania has not had moments where she got carried away and dressed Primo in clothes she deemed cute.
“During the earlier months, I had to learn the hard way how to dress him. Of course it’s cute to dress him up in jeans, in boots, even if he still couldn’t walk at that time and in polo even if the weather is too hot. To be honest, I do still have those moments from time to time,” Villania admitted.
But in reality, those cute clothes would only last for two hours, three hours max. After that, he’ll be back in t-shirt and diaper combo, because that’s where he moves best in,” Villania added laughingly.
The actress swears by a number of items from the Japanese brand such as the Toddlers’ Leggings, which she said can be worn comfortably even while wearing a diaper; the Babies’ Crew Neck Bodysuit, which has a 70 to 90 cm neck opening and snap-closure crotch design that help make changing easier; and Babies’ One Piece Outfit that has a stretch, snug fit.
“I love these items because not only are they comfortable and safe for the baby, they allow babies to move around freely,” Villania swore.
Packing for babies
Packing for travels proves to be another challenge for parents most especially to Villania and her husband Drew Arellano who both love to show the world to Primo as early as now.
“At his age, he is very curious and we think it’s the proper time to expose him to different cultures, to different people and even different accents. I don’t want him to grow up and be weirded out by people with different colors or looks. I want him to be accustomed to multiculturalism,” Villania answered when asked why traveling is essential for little ones to experience.
At 13 months, Villania proudly noted that Primo has been to Australia, where the actress was born and raised before finally moving in the Philippines, and Singapore. Moreover, Primo is gearing up for his first long-haul flight to US, where most of his dad’s relatives are based.
As such, The Manila Times asked Villania for Primo’s must-have travel essential.
“First is onsies. I love it because it doesn’t wring. Sometimes when we carry babies who are wearing shirts, we don’t notice that the back is wringing up, exposing their backs. So I always have onesies with me—whether in short or long sleeves. Then leggings, jacket and cardigan must also be in his luggage,” the actress shared.
Villania reminded that moms like her should be smart in packing because toddlers are still free on board and they do not have their baggage allowances yet. Thus, their articles of clothing are packed together with their parents’.
In general, Villania says that Primo’s current wardrobe can be described as full of basics and neutrals.
“His papa [Drew] really likes to keep him in the neutrals, blues—in shades of navy and light—and grays and browns. We feel the need to stick to the basics because it’s easy to mix and match when we have those,” the actress noted.
Finally, Villania left three basic rules she follows when shopping for Primo’s clothing.
“One, always consider comfort. I am particular with the reaction of the skin. I still think cotton is the best for babies because they have very sensitive skin. Two, don’t forget accessibility.
“And three, don’t go ahead of yourself because they are growing too fast. I’ve lost count of the times when I bought too much of everything for Primo and they end up not getting used because I’ll stick up to my favorites for him and before I know it, the new ones I bought won’t fit him anymore.”